Thursday, August 22, 2013

Take That Humidity

Yesterday I ran 8 miles. I was actually scheduled to run 7.5 but I was so close to the 8 mile mark I decided to finish up that last .5 miles. I struggle with running half miles, they are hard to plan for on my usual routs and I struggle with them mentally: if I can run .5 miles, why not go all the way to 1?

I was up at 5:30 that morning. I didn’t sleep well the night before, not sure why. I usually anticipate my alarm on my early running days, but that night was just due to random insomnia. I ate half a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and half of a banana. I tried to drink some water, but not too much. Just a few minutes past six, I had foam rolled and was ready to go. It was early dawn, the sun was just starting to wake up. It was 77 degrees with 100% humidity. I could sure feel that humidity. The first three miles were hard. I felt slow, heavy and sluggish. Once the sun came up, the humidity started to drop and I noticed a difference. Even a 3% drop is easily noticeable. I took a gel at 4 miles. I was thankful for my new hydration vest. The Nathan Intensity 2L vest was perfect! I could take a swig as needed and not slow down to fumble with my flasks. I did bring two flasks of nuun in my hydration belt and two flasks of water for dousing my face, neck and head. By the end of the run, my flasks were empty but my vest was over half full. Great news for longer distances in this NOLA humidity! I passed a few other runners, a bit uncommon for my morning runs. Not sure why everyone decided to wake up at 6am to run? Maybe it was the rain we had the day before?

These 8 miles were indeed the hardest I have ever run, but I kept them all under 13 minute miles (don’t forget I said 100% humidity) and that made me feel good. I think that as the humidity drops, I will find my speed. I hope.

I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking the rest of my water and watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King with the family. For dinner we had some rocking steak fajitas and I might have had a gin a tonic. Overall, it was an epic day.

Today, the boys and I went for a short walk. I’m only a tad sore from yesterday. I mostly feel tired and run down. I’m guessing that is from the humidity. Looking forward to another three miles either tomorrow night or Saturday morning- depending on the weather and how I’m feeling.

It’s a great day for running y’all!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Evening Running

Due to a change in hubby’s work schedule, I will now be running my 30 minute runs in the evening after he gets home from work and can watch the boys. I wasn’t too happy when I found this out. I’m a morning runner, not an evening runner. Last night was my first attempt. I started at 6:30. The temperature was 81 degrees feels like 86 degrees with 76% humidity. It has been a tad cooler this week, waiting for 92-L to hit. Incidentally, it bypassed us completely and went to Atlanta.

I ate dinner at 5:00 with the boys. Hubby got home and I headed out immediately. I was surprised at my quicker than normal pace. I thought that I would burn up quickly and then crash. I didn’t. I set a new 5k PR since moving to NOLA! I guess it was the fact that I had eaten before this run? I don’t normally eat before running in the morning. About a mile in, I realized that running in the evening isn’t as bad as I had made it out to be. I could hear the metallic rhythm of the cicadas in the trees. They are MUCH louder here than the ATL! I could smell people grilling their dinners. There were so many people out and about in the streets and their yards. I’m used to the hotbox combination of sewer and pot combined with dead streets at 6:00 am. This was much different, almost pleasant. I even found a quarter in my last mile home! We’ll see on my next evening run if this was a one-time experience or if I’m going to look forward to my evening runs.

Next up is 7.5 miles on Wednesday. My Nathan Intensity 2L race vest has arrived, so I know I will stay hydrated. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

It’s a great day for running y’all!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Hardest Six Miles I Have Ever Run

I just finished week five of the Jeff Galloway Finish It Marathon Training Plan. My long run was six miles. I can honestly say that they were the hardest six miles I have ever run in my life. I started off at quarter after six in the morning. It was already 80 degrees with 91% humidity. The heat index brought the temperature up even higher. I scarfed down half of a banana knowing I’d need fuel but not wanting to waste time eating a full breakfast and waiting for it to digest. I stepped out of the front door and it felt like I was in a sauna. Ugh. I had a full fuel belt: two flasks of nuun up front and two flasks of water in the back. I set my garmin and started my timer. My legs were slow, the heat and humidity kept pushing me down making me slower. The miles slowly ticked away and I took a gel at mile three. I don’t normally take gels with me on six miles, but figured with the lack of breakfast combined with the weather, I should bring one. I’m glad I did. At each walk break (4 min run, 30 second walk) I would take a sip of nuun. After the second mile I started sipping water and splashing it on my face. After three miles I started pouring water on my neck and my head. By mile five my fuel belt was sucked dry. The only thing that got me home was knowing I had only one mile left.

Lessons learned for a successful run in August in New Orleans:
  1. I need to find something I can eat (before my long runs) and then run immediately. Half a banana works. I wonder if I should try adding some Greek yogurt as well? Training for my half marathons, I would eat a bowl of oatmeal. Unfortunately, oatmeal is too hot and I don’t want to get up that early to eat and then wait for digestion.
  2. I need to leave the house at SIX am and not any later. Once that sun comes up, it gets H-O-T!
  3. I need to bring more liquids. Problem solved. I ordered a Nathan Intensity 2 Liter vest. It should be here before my next long run (7.5 miles)
  4. I should consider getting a Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad to keep my neck cool. I loose a lot of water by dousing my neck and head.
Rough run aside, it was pretty awesome knowing I ran six miles in weather most people don’t even leave the house in! Pretty GBA in my book. I’m looking forward to my new vest and experimenting with breakfast options that don’t give me a mid run gut ache.

It’s a great day for running y’all!